Losing Your Career May Be One FAA Medical Exam Away
By Collin Hague
Shortly after my 32nd birthday on Oct. 21, 2016, I was given tragic news that would forever change my life. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and my career as a professional helicopter pilot was over. My family doctor – a man who has known me my entire life and understands my passion for flying, the same passion many of you must share — was the one who broke the news to me. I understood what the diagnosis meant and I am not ashamed to admit, I was crying like a baby in the arms of my girlfriend. Being a clinical pharmacist, she was a voice of reason and the rock of stability I needed for our coming tribulations. In between my tears, I remember my physician recalling his morning conversation with his wife. “I will have to end a pilot’s career later today,” he’d told her. He also had a tear in his eye because he knew what the lab results meant.